The Effect of Respect on Morality Depicted in The Guest and Shooting an Elephant

The Effect of Respect on Morality Depicted in The Guest and Shooting an Elephant

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The prevailing theme in The Guest and Shooting an Elephant is the effect of respect on morality. In the former, the main character Daru exhibits a great deal of respect and hospitality to the Arab, especially considering the circumstances. In the latter, the Burmans exhibit no respect to the police officer in the event of the elephant display, or in his day to day life. These opposite scenarios have a distinct effect on the morality of the main characters. Respect has a distinct effect on morality which differs depending on if respect is being strived for or shown.
The British police officer in Shooting an Elephant had never been respected by the Burman natives a day in his life. He was regularly mocked and cheated, even by the religious students of Burma, simply because he was one of the many enforcers of their imposed oppressor’s government. When the elephant went on a “must”, he found himself in an interesting position. The very natives who had always jeered and spat at him were cheering him on. Suddenly, he is faced with the choice between his personal morality and the ever so f...

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